The user fee, proposed on commissioning of the new International terminal at the Thriuvananthpuram airport, has come in for much criticism:
The critics do not consider the following points:
Who will be paying the user fees?
- Foreigners leaving Kerala from Thiruvananthapuram.
- Non-resident Keralites who do not pay any income tax
- The rich leaving for foreign countries for tourist and business purposes.
- Occasional travellers
First time travelers to the Gulf would be the only group that would be hardly pressed by the user fee. But they have the option to take a train to Nedumbassery and board their plane from there without paying any users’ fee.
There is no justification for spending tax payers money for the sole benefit of the first three categories. However users fees have to be reasonable. There is no justification for collecting Rs. 775 per user for ten year’s just to recover Rs. 44 crores. The amount collected should be less than that charged in airports built under the build, operate and transfer scheme.